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Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben recently admitted that he was ready to join Manchester United in 2003. He met United’s that time manager Sir Alex Ferguson over dinner ahead of a potential move from PSV Eindhoven and even visited the training ground to have a look around.
After a positive meeting, the Dutch star returned to Eindhoven believing he will join Manchester United but the club was unwilling to pay Eidhoven’s asking price. Ultimately United didn’t offer him a deal.
Robben instead came to Premier League in the summer of 2004 when he joined Chelsea. The winger won back to back Premier league titles with the Blues under Jose Mourinho. He then went on to join Real Madrid in 2007.
Robben told FourFourTwo magazine:
“I had a very good conversation with him (Ferguson) over dinner in Manchester and we spoke about football and life.
“I also went and had a good look around the training ground and everything was good, but after I went back to PSV nothing happened.
“There was no real contact and the deal didn’t happen. PSV were also negotiating with Chelsea at that time, so maybe they offered PSV more money? I don’t really know.
“I spoke to Chelsea and I liked their plans. We had one meeting and everything was done pretty quickly.
“Had Manchester United offered me a deal straight after I met them, I would have signed there, but it didn’t happen and I have got no regrets.”
Robben is currently playing for German side Bayern Munich. He joined them from Real Madrid for around €25 million in summer of 2009.